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Friday, February 25, 2011
YELLOW HIMALAYAN RASPBERRY: MEDICINAL BENEFITS AND USES OF YELLOW HIMALAYAN RASPBERRY
The Yellow Himalayan raspberry is a shrub which is native to the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Vietnam, China, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and the Philippines. It has become naturalized in Australia, Hawaii, the West Indies, tropical Africa and tropical South America. In Hawaii it is an invasive species. It grows in a straggly way to reach about 3 metres tall and has toothed, wide leaves with hairs on them and the stem has prickles. It is, as the name suggests, a yellow raspberry, and a close relative of the red raspberry and the blackberry or bramble (all of which are members of the rose family of plants), so it will come as no surprise to know that it tastes very like a red raspberry. It has white flowers which having been pollinated, produce yellow berries. In Pakistan it is used as a living hedge and goats feed from the leaves and fruit if they get to it before people do.
The fruit has laxative properties, and is used in traditional medicine in Tibet for a number of purposes. The whole plant has astringent properties and has been used to reduce fevers, especially typhoid. The inner bark of the Yellow Himalayan Raspberry is used as a kidney tonic and an anti-diuretic. The juice extracted from the root has also been used for fevers, gastric problems (including infant colic when the young shoots are used too), diarrhoea and dysentery and the root paste, applied to wounds promotes healing. The fruit juice is also used to bring down the temperature of a fever and for colic, but is good for sore throats and colds too. The inner bark is said to help when the senses are weakening and when people have seminal or vaginal discharge. In summer it is used to promote sweating as a diaphoretic, and as a diuretic, and as the fruit is fibrous it aids the digestive processes.
Modern scientific studies have found that an alcoholic extract of the root of the Yellow Himalayan Raspberry has antioxidant properties and antimicrobial ones. It was also shown to have anti-inflammatory properties when tested on rats in the lab. Ten new triterpenoid saponins have been found and research is continuing into this plant.
Triterpenoids seem to decrease anxiety and improve the mental functions of mice when tested in a lab, and they help heal wounds by boosting the antioxidant activities in the wounded area.